(Lakeville, CT) Barber Dodge Pro Series alumnus Townsend Bell has been confirmed with Arden International to compete in the 2003 season championship alongside Bjorn Wildheim of Sweden. Bell was the 2001 Indy Lights Champion after placing third in...
(Lakeville, CT) Barber Dodge Pro Series alumnus Townsend Bell has been confirmed with Arden International to compete in the 2003 season championship alongside Bjorn Wildheim of Sweden. Bell was the 2001 Indy Lights Champion after placing third in the 1999 Barber Dodge Pro Series season championship standings. Bell also led the Trueman Rookie of the Year standings for much of the 2002 Champ Car season and is looking forward to this new challenge.
"I am delighted to be joining the top Team in F3000 and thank Arden for giving me this opportunity," said Bell. "The FIA F3000 Championship is the obvious step to Grand Prix Racing and I am really looking forward to racing on European Circuits. 2003 will be a learning year as all the circuits will be new to me but I am confident that with the new free practice format I will be able to get up to speed quickly. I can't wait to get started."
Bell started last season with Patrick Racing in the Champ Car ranks, but was replaced midway through the season when team owner U.E. "Pat" Patrick decided he was looking for more patience inside the cockpit. Bell's aggressive on-track moves frequently landed him in trouble, but when he was able to finish, it also helped him move up the grid, as his fourth place finish in Portland last season demonstrated.
Arden International should provide the right platform for performance for the young Californian charger, as the team secured the Manufacturer Championship in the category in 2002 over Coloni F3000 and Super Nova. The team was also in close contention for the Drivers Championship as well with Tomas Enge. Bell will commence testing with the Team in February at Imola as part of an extensive pre-season test program prior to the first race at Imola on 19th April.
The F3000 category is widely regarded in Europe to be the next step to Formula One, as previous champions have included Ricardo Zonta, and Christian Fittipaldi. The category has been the stepping stone for other Barber Dodge graduates on their way to glory, as Kenny Brack and Juan Montoya both secured championships in F3000 after having raced in the Pro Series. The F3000 series runs identical Lola B2/50 cars with Zytek engines producing over 450 hp.
The Barber Dodge Pro Series is the Official Entry Level Professional Series of CART. The drivers utilize identically prepared single seat open wheel Reynard-Dodge racecars. The Barber Dodge Pro Series provides a level playing field where driving talent, not financial resources, play the decisive role. This state-of-the-art platform, with its carbon composite construction, raised nose and 6-speed sequential gearbox, takes full advantage of the 265hp all aluminum Dodge V6 Intrepid motor that is exclusive to this series. Additionally, all of the Barber Dodges compete on identical Michelin Pilot racing slicks. The Series has been the launching pad for drivers such as Juan Montoya, Kenny Brack, and Jerry Nadeau.